Ben Bergman Senior Reporter, Southern California Economy

Ben Bergman
Contact Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is KPCC's Senior Reporter on the Southern California Economy.

He’s a frequent contributor to NPR and Marketplace, and often hosts Southern California Public Radio’s daily newsmagazine, Take Two, as well as Morning Edition and major breaking news coverage for the station.

Bergman has reported extensively on the NFL's return to Los Angeles after a 20 year absence, the campaign to bring the 2024 Olympics to Southern California, L.A.’s housing affordability problem, and the city’s adoption of a $15 minimum wage.

He was previously KPCC's Orange County Reporter, where he covered the closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant and the Christopher Dorner manhunt.

Before joining KPCC in 2012, Bergman was a producer for NPR’s Morning Edition, both in Washington D.C., and at NPR West in Culver City.

He has been a producer for some of the most recognizable voices in radio — Renee Montagne, Steve Inskeep, Susan Stamberg, and Linda Wertheimer. He has produced interviews with everyone from The Dalai Lama (three times) to Ben Stiller to Ben Affleck. Bergman was also the Morning Edition anchor at Aspen Public Radio in Colorado.

Bergman has also written for "Time Magazine" and "The New York Times" and was a reporting intern at "The Times."

Originally from Seattle, Bergman graduated cum laude from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in politics.

In his free time, Bergman enjoys tennis, fitness, skiing, traveling to new places, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

Stories by Ben Bergman

The case for Anaheim's Disneyland deal: Ticket taxes could hurt draw

Economists say Disney has a huge economic impact on Southern California, though that doesn't necessarily mean it should not be subject to an admissions tax.

How Export-Import Bank shutdown could affect SoCal businesses

The obscure bank's sudden shutdown is already being felt in California, where Ex-Im Bank supported 702 businesses between 2009-2014 with loans of $18.6 billion.

Half of LA County residents won't see $15 minimum wage — yet

Even if L.A. County bumps up wages in unincorporated areas, in some cases, what you get paid could depend on what side of the street you work on.

LA selects design firm to make over convention center

Updating the convention center has been a high priority for city leaders because L.A. has fallen behind other cities in the competition for big conventions.

LA clothing makers worry about Trans-Pacific Partnership

The TPP has also created a rift in the apparel industry - between big, national companies and smaller ones in Southern California.

What effect would the imperiled TPP have in California?

Drug manufacturers, major software makers and movie studios have been among the biggest supporters of the TPP, which is now facing major challenges.

California gas prices down, despite Santa Barbara spill

Even with an Exxon facility operating at partial capacity, analysts say it will have little impact on gas prices in California.

Santa Monica accelerates passage of higher minimum wage

“Los Angeles moved a bit faster than we thought, and while they didn’t flesh out their ordinance entirely, they certainly spurred us to move more quickly,” said Mayor McKeown.

Drought could make wine more flavorful, but also pricier

High-end wines benefit from less water, so winemakers say this could turn out to be a banner year for California’s top labels.

LA committee approves wage hike ordinance, union exemption to be studied

Federal labor laws may trump the city's wage ordinance. Council members say it needs to be studied. In the meantime, they've approved the final hike ordinance.

For tech companies, the appeal of Silicon Beach is growing

In recent years, more tech companies are starting – and staying – in Los Angeles. “You tend to find a lot more creativity here," one executive said.

West Hollywood mayor wants a higher minimum wage than $15

"I would expect that we would consider a rate that’s higher than Los Angeles has considered,” West Hollywood mayor Lindsey P Horvath said.

LA restaurant owners worried about future $15 minimum wage

“I think it will fundamentally change the business model for many restaurants,” said Jot Condi, President and CEO of the California Restaurant Association.

Ontario wants to capitalize on LA's Chinese tourism boom

Last year, a Chinese tour operator bought 20,000 rooms in Ontario, which the visitor’s bureau hopes is just the start of a wave of bookings to fill the city's rooms.

High-wage, low-polluting jobs are rare in LA County, report says

Legal, accounting, law and aerospace jobs bring high wages and a low carbon footprint, but they require a high skill set or are in short supply.